More than 22 million Australians enrolled in national online electronic health record (EHR)—My Health Record (MHR)—as of January 2019 making it a big success. The adoption of MHR will drive the growth of the EHR market in Australia, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
GlobalData forecasts the EHR market in Australia to increase from US$161.7m in 2018 to nearly US$227.5m by 2025. Adoption of EHR will improve the quality of healthcare and reduce overall treatment cost.
Rohit Anand, Medical Device Analyst at GlobalData, says: “The MHR system will provide the Australian government with access to direct, reliable and comprehensive healthcare data and specific information such as health conditions, details of hospital visits and services used by patients. Australia can then use this data to formulate disease specific healthcare policies, which can help in reducing morbidity and mortality in the longer run.”
The Australian government introduced MHR under the National e-Health Strategy. In 2016, the name of PCEHR was changed to My Health Record and citizens were provided an option to opt-out, unlike the old system where they had to opt-in and the government has since invested close to US$1.4bn over a period of 6 years in the MHR program.
Anand adds: “An enormous effort by the Australian government and support from General Practitioners, Pharmacies and Healthcare Bodies pushed a large proportion of the population to opt for MHR. The federal government has also assured individuals that the data will be secure and consumers can choose to share information with healthcare professionals connected to MHR.
“To strengthen safety and privacy measures, the Australian Digital Health Agency added extra safeguards such as denying data access to insurance agencies and imposing significant penalties for improper use. Furthermore, MHR will reduce duplication of diagnostic tests, harm caused by medical errors, and can save lives by allowing access to individual health data at the time of an emergency. However, despite the assurances and benefits, more than 2.5m Australians chose to opt-out due to privacy and security concerns.”